It’s hard to tell with personality traits whether they’re brought about by nature or nurture. Had life treated you differently would you still behave how you behave, or would a completely different attitude have been forged during your upbringing.
Miss Rose is a vulnerable soul in many ways and her father’s leaving had a profound impact on her. So much so that now if The Boy does a late shift at work and isn’t there at bedtime it impacts her hugely. She cries, she asks where he is, she says she’s scared when daddy’s not there. The following day, even though she’s seen him in the morning before he leaves for work, she spends the day talking about him, wants to make him a card to tell him she misses him and wants to make him gifts so he knows she loves him.
It’s a constant on her mind issue that daddy is not there and it’s easy to assume that had her biological father not left that she wouldn’t be so easily impacted by The Boy’s absence.
Indeed, Z shows no such distress. Whilst The Boy and his ex wife split up when Z was the same age Rose was when her father left, The Boy has been a daily presence in his life. Z lives with us for half the week and rarely goes a day without seeing his father. He never went through that shock of one day he’s part of your life, and one day he isn’t. “Daddy” has been a constant in his life since he was born.
In the mornings when The Boy leaves for work, even if he hasn’t done a late shift the night before, Miss Rose will need cuddles and kisses, will often want to wait in the doorway waving and shouting goodbyes to him as he walks down the road. She will also often fall apart crying that he’s gone and need comfort as she sobs that she misses him. Z doesn’t want a hug, will sometimes say goodbye, and carries one whatever he’s doing without any distress whatsoever. They’re polar opposite in the reactions to his leaving the building.
Would Rose be closer to Z’s calmness and security had her own father not walked out? Would Z be more prone to emotional despair at his leaving had he gone through that stress like Rose.
It’s impossible to say but what I suspect is there is a nature/nurture mix. I don’t suppose Z would ever be as emotionally wounded as Rose is by his father’s absence as he’s naturally a more emotionally steady individual anyway. He has his emotion swings and will tantrum as all children do, but rarely swings as dramatically as Rose does towards happy or sad over anything. Whilst he may never have the same swing, he’d perhaps be more insecure about where his father is, but not as dramatically.
In turn, I assume Rose would always be prone to being an emotional one as it’s who she is anyway, it’s who I am and my mother is, but I don’t think her daddy leaving for work would cause this level of distress on such a regular basis.
The interesting test will be in Baby B.
Baby B will (this is all me saying HOPEFULLY as I have certainly lost all childhood naivety of happily ever after and live with a heady dose of cynicism) never have to go through the experience of divorcing parents. She won’t have to experience her daddy disappearing that Rose has. She won’t have to bob between different homes all week as Z does. She won’t have to have the insecurity of her “daddy” not being her “biological father” as Miss Rose does. She won’t have to wish both parents could be together in the same house as Z does.
But already Baby B is showing the signs of devotion and emotional vulnerability that Miss Rose has. The way she gazes at me and The Boy is so full of love, so full of adoration, that it is completely pure and completely vulnerable. She would have her heart broken by either of us disappearing. It’s the way Rose looked at me from babyhood but in a way Z has never been described as looking. But she also has Z’s emotional steadiness. She’s a calm little lady, interested and relaxed. She doesn’t get upset by loud noises and doesn’t wail in despair over the slightest upset. Even at four months, Miss Rose was an emotional roller coaster swinging wildly from joyful giggles or sobs of anguish at the flick of a switch.
How will her personality form? Will nature lead her more towards Rose’s daddy issues regardless of her father’s presence, or towards Z’s stability even with her emotional vulnerability?
We will have to wait and see!
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!